Sunday, September 29, 2013

I can't Cope...or Can I?

I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and that the universe presents messages to us almost constantly.  It does require keeping a sort of low grade awareness about you, as they can easily be missed with all the daily distractions in our lives.  It takes practice and the ability to interpret the messages. If I did not believe this, my life would not have changed over the last few years at all.  It was when I started to listen to them. I mean really listen to them that change was able to manifest.

Fear can be a harsh taskmaster. It is without a doubt what prevents most people from moving forward. The known present is so much safer than the unknown future. As we age, it becomes more so. "What ifs" clog our progress and keep us stuck.  Leaps of faith are far more frightening as the years pass.  At 21 or 31 or even 41 we are more courageous. The thinking that we still have so much time left helps. But something happens north of 50. We are less inclined to take risks.  We become a little set in our ways.  Change rattles us more. Routines give us comfort. For the most part it works, but for many, like me, there is a yearning for more. More adventure, more stimulation, more experience.

I watched a movie last night called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  The basic premise of the film is a handful of English retirees who due to financial circumstances are drawn to an ad to come and live at said hotel, a seemingly exotic place, for very little money. Like most ads, it portrays itself as far more luxurious than it really is and when these folks arrive and see the state of their new home. each character copes in a distinct fashion. Some much better than others.  

It really got  me to thinking about the next change in my life.  I have spent many months contemplating my move to Queensland.  It is so far away. What if I need to come back to Canada in a hurry? What if I find the semi-tropical climate unbearable? What if my new relationship does not work out? What if I have problems immigrating? What if I become ill? What if there really are snakes everywhere? What if, what if, what if, what if, what if.....??? The list is endless. 

Twenty or thirty years ago, I would not have given these things a second thought. The truth is, I am still healthy. I do have the means to hop on a plane in an emergency. I have been dreading and despising the cold Canadian winters for many years now. My relationship is wonderful. My daughter has given me her blessing. Go live your life mom. (she is amazing!) Still, despite all these positives, old MRS. FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN will suddenly weasel her way into my thinking from time to time but as the days pass, she makes fewer and fewer appearances. 

Watching that movie last night really was one of those  messages from the universe. I think it was Judy Dench's character that said it was all in the coping. How one is able to cope with the changes made all the difference. She did not paint a romantic unrealistic picture of her new life in Jaipur, but in the end, her ability to cope is what made her experience positive, unlike Penelope Wilton's character and her inability or even desire to cope that made hers so miserable.

It gave me a real jolt of excitement. A turning point for me almost. The thought of embracing change instead of resisting it. That old cliche of "when in Rome...", is exactly the approach that is needed.  Things will be different there. Not better or worse...just different. Instead of stopping to buy peaches and apples at a roadside stand, now I will buy avocados. Instead of roast turkey at Christmas, shrimps on the barbie perhaps. Fresh water lakes vs the Pacific Ocean. The Big Dipper vs The Southern Cross. Vegemite vs butter tarts. (OK - that may be harder to cope with!)

I keep thinking back to one of my earliest messages from the universe. At the time I did not really see it as such. I had one of those world globes on a stand made of tin. I was about 11 years old at the time and I used to lay on my bed and spin the globe around and around studying all the foreign lands and dreaming of seeing them one day. I dropped it on the floor one night after a too vigorous swirl and dented it. When I picked it up to examine the damage, there was an obvious dent on the pink land mass called Australia. I knew then that one day I would go there. My first trip was in 1979. The second time was 2012.

The third time will be October 26. Perhaps this time, like that dented spot on the globe, I too will leave a more permanent imprint.

Even thinking of a new blog...Upsidedownunder gal goes Walkabout!'s all in the coping. :)


Anonymous said...



Deb said...

You better come and visit mate!!!